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Govt reviews measures undertaken to prevent and mitigate air pollution in Delhi-NCR | DETAILS

The Principal Secretary discussed in detail about various measures being undertaken to reduce the impact of different sources of air pollution. He also said that strict implementation of the actions listed in the GRAP by all concerned is critical to prevent the worsening of air quality.

Edited By: Anurag Roushan @Candid_Tilaiyan New Delhi Published on: October 13, 2023 20:27 IST
Delhi-NCR air pollution
Image Source : PTI Representative Image

Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister PK Mishra chaired the high-level Task Force meeting on air pollution in Delhi-NCR at the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) on Friday. The meeting was held to review the preparedness of various stakeholders to deal with the issue of adverse air quality in Delhi-NCR as the winter season approaches.

During the meeting, the Principal Secretary discussed in detail about various measures being undertaken to reduce the impact of different sources of air pollution. 

Discussions were held on the following points:

  • Industrial pollution
  • Vehicular pollution
  • Dust from construction and demolition activities
  • Dust from roads and ROWs
  • Burning of municipal solid waste (MSW)
  • Biomass and miscellaneous waste
  • Agricultural stubble burning and dispersed sources

In addition, greening and plantation initiatives to abate air pollution were also deliberated during the meeting. In the implementation of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), its monitoring and measures to improve its enforcement at the field level were also discussed. The Principal Secretary said that strict implementation of the actions listed in the GRAP by all concerned is critical to prevent the worsening of air quality. 

In an effort to ensure the reduction of the paddy stubble burning across Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, the Principal Secretary to the PM instructed close monitoring of the issue by the Chief Secretaries of the three states. He advised the in-situ management of paddy stubble through Crop Residue Management (CRM) machines and the use of bio-decomposers. He also advised the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) to improve the technology.

Principal Secretary suggested several measures

Elaborating on ex-situ management of paddy stubble, he advised working on developing the economic use of paddy straw. He stressed on developing adequate storage facilities for baled straw along with infrastructure for baling, briquetting and pelleting etc. for effective ex-situ utilisation of paddy straw. Further, strict adherence to the stipulated targets for co-firing of biomass, with a focus on paddy straw, in the thermal power plants biomass was also discussed.

During the discussion, the Principal Secretary emphasized on a multi-pronged approach comprising several measures, such as procurement of biomass pellets, adopting the benchmark price issued by the Ministry of Power, expanding gas infrastructure and supply in the entire NCR region by March 2024, and ensuring expeditious supply of biomass on demand.  Further, there should be intensified drives to replace overaged vehicles, vehicles which are visibly polluting because of overloading and other reasons, and stricter implementation of actions envisaged in the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) by all concerned.

Who all attended the meeting? 

The meeting was attended by all major stakeholders i.e. Secretaries to the Govt. of India in the Ministries of Environment, Agriculture, Power, Petroleum, Road Transport & Highways, Housing and Urban Affairs, Animal Husbandry & Dairying, besides the Commission for Air Quality Management in NCR and Adjoining Areas, Chief Secretaries of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and NCT of Delhi, Central Pollution Control Board and the respective State Pollution Control Boards / DPCC were present in the review meeting.

ALSO READ: Delhi: Centre's action plan on air pollution to come into force on October 1

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